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Old Oct 29, 2013, 4:27 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: ZZ100
Is it possible to buy a (cheap) upgrade on Cathay Pacific upon check-in?

The short answer is no.

Cathay, as a general rule, does not allow you to purchase last minute upgrades if there are empty seats in Y+, J or F. The only way to upgrade a ticket is to pay the fare difference between your current ticket, and an available fare class in the higher cabins. Note that if your current ticket has restrictions (cancellation fees, non-refundable) these still apply.

There are been stories of people who have been offered cheap upgrades by Cathay, but this is more an exception than a common occurrence.


If I upgrade my ticket using asia miles, do I still earn miles?

Yes, you will earn miles for the original fare class that you booked, not the upgraded cabin.

How do I get a free upgrade / operational upgrade (op-up)?
Cathay Pacific does not upgrade passengers just because there are empty seats in higher classes. Upgrades will only occur where there is overbooking in lower classes.

The order of upgrades when required is believed to be:
  1. VIP (Heads of State, Government Bodies, or Canto Pop/Movie stars)
  2. CX Diamond Plus
  3. CX Diamond Invitation, Diamond
  4. CX Gold
  5. CX management staff on travel duty
  6. oneworld Emerald
  7. CX staff on duty nominees , other airline staff nominees, CX staff on personal travel
  8. oneworld Sapphire
  9. CX Silver
  10. oneworld Ruby
  11. CX Green
  12. Asia Miles
  13. Non status
In the event of a tiebreak being needed, generally those with lower "Boarding Numbers" will take precedence (lower BN takes priority). The earlier you check in, the lower your BN. Asking for an upgrade at check-in will not work, so don't. This is definitely one case of where "if you don't ask, you don't get", does NOT apply. The amount you paid for your ticket or the fare class of your ticket does not appear to affect your upgrade chances.


I am travelling on an award ticket. Will I still be considered for a free upgrade?

Yes - there are many stories of passengers on award tickets, or who upgraded a class using miles, getting (additional) upgrades.



What happens if the aircraft has 4 or 3 cabins, but is only selling Business and Economy seats?

It is likely if you have Marco Polo status, and to a lesser extent oneworld status, you may be able to sit in either First Class seats (if booked in J) or Premium Economy (if booked in Y) with service of the original cabin. There doesn't appear to be consistency yet as to how these semi-upgrades are allocated. Some people have been able to choose seats in the higher cabin during online check-in, or some will get them on request at check-in. However, there is no entitlement to these seats.


Will I get an upgrade on my Birthday, or for my membership anniversary, or for reaching xx number of lifetime club miles?

Please see this link for members' experience with these kinds of upgrades: Marco Polo Anniversary Upgrades


I want to use Asia Miles to upgrade a BA flight. How do I do this?

As of 22 June 2018, it is no longer possible to upgrade BA flights with Asia Miles.


How do I upgrade a CX flight using miles?

If you already have issued your original ticket:
  1. Try upgrading using Manage My Booking on the website (not always successful)
  2. If self-service doesn't work, try calling Marco Polo hotline to check availability
  3. If there is availability, you will need to issue the upgrade immediately to secure it. They may give you a few days grace before isssuing the upgrade, but this is now rarely given.
  4. In a few days, or longer if they are busy, your miles will be deducted, and you will be emailed a new e-ticket with the upgrade class details on it, and your online booking for your original booking class will disappear.

If you have not made any booking yet, and you want to check availability:
  1. Call Marco Polo club to check for availability on the flights/dates you want, or check for normal redemption availability on the website.
  2. Book a revenue ticket in the class of service for which you will be paying. Do NOT do this via the website -- call a CX telephone sales number/travel agent.
  3. Put the booking on hold.
  4. Call the Marco Polo/Asia Miles Service Center. Have them book the upgrade and give you a deadline to have the ticket issued. (It's usually about 72 hours).
  5. Have telephone sales/travel agent issue your revenue ticket.
  6. Call Marco Polo/Asia Miles back. Give them the revenue ticket number against the PNR and ask them to issue your upgrade.
  7. In about two or three days, you'll get a new ticket with the upgrade showing.

If you don't receive a new e-ticket before departure, call up Marco Polo club to double check if the upgrade has been issued.
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The Ultimate Upgrade Question thread

Old Oct 6, 2014, 9:28 pm
  #76  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Non-top tier Asia Miles member
Posts: 20,072
Originally Posted by hew204
Does anyone have experience with premium economy to business upgrades using points from SYD-HKG?

I am currently wait-listed on CX 162 for b-class on January 1, and unfortunately, I lost my status a few months ago. Any chance I will see this get confirmed?
Not really

SYD Sydney Kingsford Smith NS AU [YSSY]
HKG Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Intl HK [VHHH]
THU 01 Jan 2015

Carrier Flight From Depart To Arrive A/C St Availability
--------- ------ ---- -------- ---- -------- --- -- -----------------------------------------------------
CX 162 SYD 11:25 HKG 17:50 333 J9 C3 D3 I0 W5 R0 E0 Y9 B0 H0 K0 M0 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0

- CX still has 5 PE seats to sell at this stage, so it's not likely your cabin will be overbooked and they will need to op-up

- There still appears to be a lot of seats for Economy too (just that CX doesn't believe it has to sell them cheaply) so there's little need to upgrade people from Economy to PE (which will then CX has to move some more passengers like you from PE to Business).
percysmith is online now  
Old Oct 6, 2014, 10:12 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 2,172
Originally Posted by percysmith
- CX still has 5 PE seats to sell at this stage, so it's not likely your cabin will be overbooked and they will need to op-up
Percy, I thought the question was regarding chances of using points, not op up.
IncyWincy is offline  
Old Oct 6, 2014, 10:42 pm
  #78  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Non-top tier Asia Miles member
Posts: 20,072
Incywincy - there's no immediate availability for upgrade (or for straight redemptions - I checked) so hew204 will need his upgrade waitlist to clear. I thought revenue seat availability will be a factor in determining whether redemption seats will be available (see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/catha...icket-lhr.html ).
percysmith is online now  
Old Oct 8, 2014, 3:44 am
  #79  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: TK Elite Plus
Posts: 144
I wanted to do this for some time, but never got to do it.

Thanks to Cathy for upgrading me from PE to Business (FRA-HKG-BNE, last lag was the upgrade), you made me really happy!!!

Although after reading your “Upgrade Guide”, I should not have qualified, since I have no status with CX. If I remember correctly economy was oversold, judging from the price of 5400 Euro for economy vs. 1200 for PE (It was a one way fare).
I made QF Gold on that last leg, but cannot imagine that this was the reason for my upgrade. Maybe it was the check in lady in FRA, since she asked me to come back to see my ticket once more, but then I was seated next to the emergency exit.... .

Anyways, I was really happy with the upgrade. Maybe I should fly CX more often.
Flauschie_Mr is offline  
Old Oct 10, 2014, 3:12 am
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: BKK
Posts: 6,741
Mileage Upgrade form J to F HKG-JFK

I am looking at a BKK-JFK itinerary online, and it says that the business fare I want to book is upgradeable to F. I just have a few questions about mileage upgrades on CX:

How many miles are needed to upgrade to first class from HKG to JFK? (the BKK-HKG segment may be a two-class aircraft, FWIW)
Also, will CX allow me to waitlist for an upgrade? Will they give me time to transfer Amex MR points to Asia Miles?

I would appreciate any info about this!

Edit- Looking at what I think is the correct award chart, it looks like this will cost 60,000 miles one way, or 105,000 round trip. Is this correct? Are there any other co-payments or fees I should be aware of?

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Oct 10, 2014 at 3:24 am
MikeFromTokyo is offline  
Old Oct 10, 2014, 3:34 am
  #81  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Non-top tier Asia Miles member
Posts: 20,072
Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo
How many miles are needed to upgrade to first class from HKG to JFK?
105K is correct https://www.asiamiles.com/am/en/rede...ghtawardfinder

Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo
(the BKK-HKG segment may be a two-class aircraft, FWIW)
I'm sticking my neck out a bit here and am happy to have more experienced FTers correct me, but - I believe you can just upgrade the HKG-JFK-HKG as a round trip alone.

Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo
Also, will CX allow me to waitlist for an upgrade?
Yes (I've tried)

Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo
Will they give me time to transfer Amex MR points to Asia Miles?
No miles needed to waitlist.

If both segments cleared, you get a week if you have 70% of required miles. And see PM.
percysmith is online now  
Old Oct 10, 2014, 6:43 am
  #82  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,740
Originally Posted by percysmith
I'm sticking my neck out a bit here and am happy to have more experienced FTers correct me, but - I believe you can just upgrade the HKG-JFK-HKG as a round trip alone.
correct. you can just upgrade the long-hauls if you want. don't need to do all four sectors.
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Oct 13, 2014, 11:40 am
  #83  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: CX Gold
Posts: 15
Hi members of flyertalk,

I would like to know the possibility of getting an op-up on CX 250 on hte 17/10/2014 from lhr to hkg? Thnak you

Regards
oscartao is offline  
Old Oct 13, 2014, 7:34 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LHR
Programs: CX GO, BA Gold, OZ*G, IHG Spire RA
Posts: 316
All fare buckets are zeroed out so I would say you have a decent chance.
DieselYVR is offline  
Old Oct 14, 2014, 1:10 am
  #85  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: CX Gold
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by DieselYVR
All fare buckets are zeroed out so I would say you have a decent chance.
Thannk you DieselYVR, should checkin online then?
oscartao is offline  
Old Oct 14, 2014, 4:09 am
  #86  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
Wish me luck:
CX/KA 5802 HKG 08:00 PVG 10:30 333 F7 A7 J0 C1 D0 I0 Y9 B0 H0 K0 M0 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0
alphaod is offline  
Old Oct 14, 2014, 4:46 am
  #87  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LHR
Programs: CX GO, BA Gold, OZ*G, IHG Spire RA
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by oscartao
Thannk you DieselYVR, should checkin online then?
Yes, lowest BN number will optimize your chances. Good luck!
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Old Oct 14, 2014, 5:18 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: CX Gold
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by DieselYVR
Yes, lowest BN number will optimize your chances. Good luck!
Should I pick a good seat or a bad middle seat?
oscartao is offline  
Old Oct 14, 2014, 7:53 pm
  #89  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LHR
Programs: CX GO, BA Gold, OZ*G, IHG Spire RA
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by oscartao
Should I pick a good seat or a bad middle seat?
Pick the seat you would most like to sit in as there are likely greater chances that is where you will be sitting anyway. Never a good plan to bet on an op-up! The seat you have selected has no bearing on whether you will get the op-up as far as I know.
DieselYVR is offline  
Old Oct 14, 2014, 10:38 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,740
Originally Posted by oscartao
Should I pick a good seat or a bad middle seat?
not sure if you're being serious with this quote....

1.) your chances of an op-up are probably at best 15%-20%. I presume you're flying in EY given the reference to the middle seat, although I guess there's a chance you're in PEY. Either way pick the seat you'll highly likely be stuck sitting in. You'd be nuts to choose a middle seat.
2.) If somehow the logic was "middle seat = higher chance of op-up", that is incorrect. it's irrelevant.
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